Optus and La Trobe University have teamed up again to provide a lift to Victoria’s health and technology sector with the appointment of award-winning researcher Professor Nilmini Wickramasinghe as the inaugural Optus Chair of Digital Health at La Trobe University.
Professor Wickramasinghe brings nearly 30 years of experience in education, research and managing digital health projects to the new role within the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences which will provide discipline leadership to the Digital Innovation Hub (DIH). The DIH is part of La Trobe’s Research and Innovation Precinct, a core component of its University City of the Future.
Chris Munro, Senior Director Enterprise, Victoria at Optus, said, “Since 2016, Optus and La Trobe University have partnered to drive innovation and research that prepares students for the digital future. We are pleased to build on that partnership with the appointment of Professor Nilmini Wickramasinghe, who will play a key role in the Optus 5G Lab located within the Hub.
“The need for digital health will only continue as people embrace the convenience of digital options. We saw how critical it was to be able to access health services remotely during the pandemic was and we continue to see the importance digital health will play in connecting patients and communities all across Australia with clinical services. This will be a major step in providing Australians located in regional locations with the best medical service available regardless of where doctors and specialists are based.
“I’d like to welcome Professor Wickramasinghe, and I look forward to the work she will do in leveraging technology like 5G to connect Australians across the country to get the healthcare services they need.”
La Trobe University Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Susan Dodds said, “The appointment of Professor Nilmini Wickramasinghe as the inaugural Optus Chair of Digital Health is a significant milestone in La Trobe University’s continuing collaboration with Optus.
“Professor Wickramasinghe brings exceptional experience and passion to the role in what is a complex, fast-evolving and impactful field.
“As a state-wide University, La Trobe has a strong commitment to digital health and the huge benefits it can offer, especially to people living in regional and remote communities.”
The highly respected researcher will join La Trobe University from Swinburne University where she was a Professor of Digital Health. Prior to that, she was Professor and Director Health Informatics Management at Deakin University, with earlier roles at RMIT and University of Melbourne. Internationally she has held positions in Germany and the United States.
Professor Wickramasinghe said, “As the Optus Chair of Digital Health at La Trobe University, I’m enthusiastic about investigating how emerging technologies can bridge gaps and elevate healthcare accessibility across Australia.
“Being part of this significant partnership is an honour, as it reflects our shared commitment to driving research and innovation in digital health. Together, we’re striving for a future where technology and pragmatic solutions converge to enhance healthcare for all Australians.”